Tenant Selection Criteria

Putting it All Together:

A tenant selection plan is a set of criteria that you establish to determine the acceptability of potential applicants. It’s helpful to create a tenant selection plan before you begin looking for applicants and accepting rental applications. This will create a fair process to help you avoid selecting tenants on a case by case basis and making judgment calls that could violate fair housing laws.

Some landlords think they may not need a tenant selection plan, but having an objective benchmark to evaluate applicants will give you the best chances of finding good tenants and avoiding problem tenants. In the long run having a tenant selection plan will save you money, protect your investment, and limit your liability.

Optional: Your Tenant Selection Plan Should Address:

Credit Report

  • Acceptable credit score range
  • Debt threshold
  • Payment and collections history acceptability

Background Check

  • Past evictions (Important note: verify accuracy of address)
  • Money owed to past landlords
  • Criminal records
  • Sex offender registry

Verification Info

  • Sufficient income to rent and debt
  • Employment and length of employment
  • Landlord references


  • Number of occupants permitted per bedroom or per SF for each apartment
  • Pet restrictions
  • Noise restrictions after certain hours


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